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A rose arbor needs a ruthless trainer.

A hard heart and bold shears are basic ingredients for creating a magnificent climbing rose. Now is the time to plant and start training a bare-root climber.

For the first two to three years, remove only dead or weak wood; let plants produce their long canes. After that, you should prune every year.

Our photographs show two 12-year-old 'Blaze' roses growing in Lorena Mariner's Marysville, California, garden. The arbor was made from rough redwood 4-by-4 posts sunk 2 feet into concrete, with 2 by 4's across the top and 1-by-2 crosspieces. One bare-root rose was planted on each side of the arbor. As canes grew, they were securd to the arbor with commercial tree ties; it took about three years for canes to cross the top of the arbor.

Repeat-blooming climbing roses, which include ntural climbers such as 'Blaze' and climbing sports of hybrid teas, should be pruned when dormant. If you have an old-fashioned climber that flowers only once each season, prune after it blooms.

As Mrs. Mariner demonstrates, remove thin, weak growth and old, spent canes (these look dry and are often slightly craked or have shaggy bark). Remove crossesd canes where feasible--you usually can't get them all, since that would eliminate too much of the plant.

Cut back lateral growth on canes to about 5 to 6 inches (step 3). These short branches will produce the new wood where blooms will form.

Once your rose is in bloom, be sure to remove spent flowers. Cut back to a leaf that has at least five leaflets; strong new growth will sprout from this point.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Feb 1, 1984
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